Solidworks

Describes special considerations that apply only when you use Datasmith to bring scenes from Solidworks into the Unreal Editor.

This page describes how Datasmith imports scenes from Solidworks into Unreal Engine. It follows the basic process outlined in the Datasmith Overview and About the Datasmith Import Process, but adds some special translation behavior that is specific to Solidworks. If you're planning to use Datasmith to import scenes from Solidworks into Unreal Engine, reading this page can help you understand how your scene is translated, and how you can work with the results in Unreal Editor.

Solidworks Workflows

Export Workflow

Datasmith uses an Export Plugin workflow for Solidworks. This means that to get your Solidworks content into Unreal using Datasmith, you need to:

  1. Install a plugin for Solidworks. See the Installation Notes section below.

  2. Export your Solidworks content to a .udatasmith file. See Exporting Datasmith Content from Solidworks.

  3. Enable the Importers > Datasmith Importer Plugin for your Project, if it's not already installed.

  4. Use the Datasmith importer available in the Toolbar of the Unreal Editor to import your .udatasmith file. See Importing Datasmith Content into Unreal Engine.

Direct Link Workflow

To preview changes to your Solidworks scene in Unreal Engine in real time, you can set up a Datasmith DirectLink between the two. This way, you don't need to manually re-import the entire scene into Unreal Engine every time you want to make a change.

Datasmith Direct Link functionality is available from the Unreal tab of the Solidworks main toolbar, after you install the Datasmith for Solidworks plugin.

Datasmith-Solidworks-Tab.png

For more information, see Using Datasmith Direct Link.

Installation Notes

Before you can export Solidworks content, you must download and install the Datasmith Exporter for Solidworks plugin from the Datasmith Export Plugins page.

If the Datasmith for Solidworks plugin installer detects multiple versions of Solidworks on your system, and at least one of these versions is supported, it will install the export plugin for all of the Solidworks versions it detects. Note that the export plugin is not supported for Solidworks 2019 and older versions.

To see what versions of Solidworks the plugin supports, see Datasmith Supported Software and File Types.

We encourage you to share the download link to the Datasmith Exporter plugins with any number of people, both inside and outside of your organization. Please note that you are not permitted to distribute the Datasmith Exporter plugins themselves.

Before you install the Datasmith Exporter for Solidworks plugin, make sure that:

  • Solidworks is not running.

  • You downloaded the installer for the exporter plugin that matches the Unreal Engine version you intend to use.

  • You uninstalled all previous versions of the Datasmith Exporter for Solidworks plugin.

After you downloaded the installer, double-click it to open, then follow the instructions on-screen.

If the Datasmith for Solidworks plugin installer detects multiple versions of Solidworks on your system, and at least one of these versions is supported, it will install the export plugin for all of the Solidworks versions it detects. Note that the export plugin is not supported for Solidworks 2019 and older versions.

If you need to uninstall the Datasmith Exporter for Solidworks plugin, you can do this from the Control Panel, like any other Windows application.

Solidworks Import Considerations

This section describes special considerations when converting and importing objects from your Solidworks scene into various elements in your Unreal Engine Project.

Datasmith for Solidworks supports the following features:

  • Product structure

  • Solid geometry

  • Textures and materials

  • Display states

  • Configurations

  • Metadata

The Datasmith importer currently doesn't support the following Solidworks features:

  • Animations

  • Lights

  • Cameras

  • Construction geometry: points, curves, planes

Converted Entities

When you import a .udatasmith file into Unreal Engine, Datasmith converts the following Solidworks entities into their Unreal Engine counterparts:

Solidworks

Unreal Engine

Sub-assembly

Actor

Part

Static Mesh

Part Instance

Static Mesh Actor

Configuration

Variant

Display State

Variant

Appearance

Material

Solidworks Data Loading Models

When you open an assembly file, Solidworks can load its active components as either lightweight or fully resolved. Depending on the selected mode, data from the model may or may not be available in Solidworks.

We recommend opening assemblies in fully resolved mode to guarantee that the most amount of information will be transferred through Datasmith. For more information, see Solidworks documentation on Components.

Materials and UVs

Solidworks does not have data for UVs associated with parts. Unlike Unreal Engine, Solidworks stores mapping information per material. When exporting data into a .udatasmith file, the Datasmith exporter bakes UVs into the static meshes using the material information. So, if a part is instantiated several times in the Solidworks assembly, and each part instance uses different materials, it may end up with multiple static meshes in Unreal Engine.

Configurations and Display States

If the Solidworks model has display states or configurations, Datasmith may create a Level Variant Set asset. This asset will hold the translated variant entity. For more information, see Solidworks documentation on Configurations.

This page was written for a previous version of Unreal Engine and has not been updated for the current Unreal Engine 5.1 release.